The Pentagon often feuds with defense contractors about billion-dollar weapons that are over budget or underperforming. But it also holds back millions of dollars over flaws in everyday business systems.
United Technologies Corp. tops the most recent target list of 15 companies whose payments are being withheld for inadequate systems to manage subcontractor purchases, estimate costs or keep track of schedules.
As of Aug. 12, the Defense Contract Management Agency was holding back almost $180 million in billings, or as much as 5 percent, from the company’s two military units. That’s up from $130 million in May.
The recent total includes $123.4 million from Sikorsky Aircraft — the helicopter maker that United Technologies has agreed to sell to Lockheed Martin Corp. — and $56.1 million from the Pratt & Whitney engine unit.
The withholdings signal steady Pentagon enforcement of a three-year-old regulation calling for contractor compliance with six internal systems that the government says are necessary to measure a company’s progress in meeting cost and schedule goals for weapons contracts.
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